Saturday, December 22, 2007

Creativity (event)

The final Product Scotland workshop (supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Methods Network programme) was held at The Lighthouse (Scotland's Centre for Architecture and Design) on 17th December. The subject for this workshop was 'Creativity'. The day started with a presentation from Craig Whittet and Alex Milton about various understandings of and approaches to creativity. There followed some exercises for those attending in hastily assembled groups that tried to show that less-structured, nonlinear approaches to problem solving were more creative. However, given that most of the groups immediately tried to subvert the system as presented, it was actualy hard to tell which approach was more or less creative (it was all very wacky). The organizers had addressed this aspect of the workshop with the subtitle/caveat 'Preaching to the Converted'.

The organizers of the other 3 workshops were then invited to provide a brief review of the outcomes of these for the benefit of those that had not attended them. We were then introduced to the brief for the day's main activity. This consisted of working in groups to produce a 'pitch' for a project, product or service that was to be developed in response to the overarching workshop themes of 'Future Body, Future Food and Future City'. We were encouraged to begin discussing ideas over lunch and informed that representatives of the funding body Nesta would be attending our presentations.

The pitches ended up being quite diverse and involved everything from slide presentations, paper prototypes of interactive web-based applications, systems models and mocked-up business plans. Each group had 5 minutes to pitch. As in the other workshops the most striking thing about the results was the breadth and scope of what can be achieved in a ridiculously short amount of time by disparate individuals that embrace the spirit of the event with a sense of adaptability.

A Product Scotland DVD has been produced, a book is in the works and eventually more documentation of the 4 events will go up on the Product Scotland website. There are also discussions occurring to make subsequent funding bids for more money to conduct more events in the future. If you want to know more contact Paul Rodgers on 0131 455 2313 or at

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I am exploring a hybrid form of art and design practice through the use of computer-based design and fabrication tools. I am interested in experimental objects and spaces that are dynamic and responsive and seek to challenge perceptions, expectations and established behavior.

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